Should a widow's will include all adult children, no matter how much, or little, they saw her since the other parent died? - AgingCare.com

Should a widow's will include all adult children, no matter how much, or little, they saw her since the other parent died?

Follow
Share

I live with my Mom, and have been here since I cared for my Dad, too, about 6 years. I took care of Dad for the year before he died, and tended to his time at home in hospice before he passed. Since he died, the rest of the family doesn't come to see Mom, or call. She has mild cognitive disorder, so her memory is spotty, but she does not have Alzheimers. My Dad said the house should go to me, but put nothing in writing, so that's a problem, too. My daughter and her two kids spend more time with Mom than all the others combined. Additionally, they are all pretty well off, owning their own homes and having good jobs. I haven't worked outside of this house since I came here. I also proised my Dad I'd keep Mom in this house she loves as long as she wants, and fully intend to. My siblings wanted Dad to go into a home, but I refused and he didn't want to so we did everything we could to keep him home. he died at home

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
12

Answers

Show:
Gather together all of mom & dads existing legal and schedule an elder law atty appointment from the list the Area on Aging gives you. Call around to see prices too. If mom would stress out totally on going to atty office in downtown high rise then find one who has an office in a more relaxing setting, with google earth all this is easy to do. I’d suggest mom get a new & updated DPOA, a will, and if your state allows for a Guardianship in case of incapacity document then that too. Your daughter should be the secondary on all just in case something happens to you. I’d have atty draw up a personal services contract for the $ 500 a mo, hopefully mom never needs Medicaid but if she did that $500 will add up to a nasty transfer penalty. Mom needs to pay for all atty costs from her bank account.

You might want to take dads will but I’d be cautious as it may Signal that same probate atty to be used which may or may not be what is best.

Have mom go to the beauty shoppe day before too and have the appt set for time of day she’s at her best. You may want to go over & have a run through on what the trip is for over the next few days.

If you are not a signature on her bank accounts, on another day take the new dpoa and get this done and you get named as the POD on the account. Bank officer will probably need to speak with mom 1 on 1 in their office. So you want again to have her looking at her best.

Also some states require all children to be named in the will even if it is to leave them out or give them a nominal sum. My dad did this with kids from first marriage, if they contested the will (which left all to my mom), they were to be left one dollar. The atty shoukd know exactly what needs to be done to do the will.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

A couple of additional bits of information... Everyone in the family agrees that the house should/will go to me, but without a will, I am leary. Also, Mom has plenty of money. Although Dad never had a will (he knew Mom would outlive him and everything was hers when he passed. We live in a community property state.) I'm going to go through the Area on Aging to get a referral to take care of the will. My siblings have said they would do that, but they don't think Mom will be determined competent. I think as to this subject, she is competent, but I hope she remembers what my Dad wanted as to the house. I can only hope she knows it so well that she will remember it when the time comes.
Also, my Dad passed January 30, 2016. Just before he passed he started paying me $500 a month.
Helpful Answer (0)
Report

Jeanne Interesting. In my mother's family, my uncle stayed home with his parents. He worked full time but also took care of the house and as his parents aged, cooked and shopped, gardened and drove them around. When my grandparents died, uncle stayed in the house. It remained the family holiday gathering place but the three sisters provided all the food. The sisters were angry that uncle didn't distribute some of the household items. But then, although he was the youngest, he died first and the goodies were got. As sole caregiver for my mother, I'm not surprised at his early demise.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

"A will is not a list of lifetime achievement awards." Well said, CM!

And I strongly agree with cwillie, about caregivers "getting paid for the work they do not waiting for an inheritance." Parents should be given the dignity of paying their own way, to the extent that is possible. And this eliminates the hard feelings over the will.

If there is virtually nothing available to pay the caregiver as time goes on, then the "payment" could be deferred until after death, and clearly stated in the will. I think this is far less satisfactory than payment all along, because there really is no way to know exactly what will be available at the time the parent dies.

BTW, I was just reading a little about the previous expectation of one child staying in the family home to help parents as they age. Often the youngest daughter had this role, but in some cultures it was a son. The other children were free to make lives for themselves. The one who stayed at home kept the home, since he or she did not have the opportunity to make a home of their own. This was simply taken for granted by the whole culture.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

"If it isn't in writing, it didn't happen." Didn't your father know that?

I'm sorry; definitely doesn't seem fair to you. Is your mother still legally competent? I'd definitely have a little chat with her. Point out what your father said. If she doesn't see your point, then, really, consider how much more effort you want to put into mother-care. Can she stay in her home and hire out care? Can you move somewhere else? I know it's hard after 6 years, but you have to look to your own future, also.

When did your father die? (How long have  you known that he didn't put his desire re the house onto paper?)
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

In my state, a caregiver can be paid in arrears, then naturally going forward. Wonder if a contract could be drawn up that at time of death caregiver receives all back pay off the top of the estate. Then many times, I imagine, could be the house.

Two ideas, but in my case, twisted sister beneficiaries, would not have cared for either option. It would have effected their inheritance which is what started problems with payment in the first place.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

I am a firm believer in getting paid for the work you do not waiting for an inheritance, the reality is that even with the best of intentions you may not be able to care for your mother until the end and even 1 year in a nursing home could use up all her assets. It is too late to go back to the time you began caregiving, but going forward have your mother pay you for your care, get a contract drawn up so that it is all legal and proper.
Helpful Answer (8)
Report

You have done well in respecting your parents' wishes. This required you to make a choice, to which your siblings expressed their opposition, and sacrifice your employment prospects and earning power in order to keep your parents at home and now to continue taking care of your mother in her home.

You do have to recognise that this was and is your choice. You could have chosen otherwise, followed your siblings' example, prioritised your own financial wellbeing and let your parents make whatever arrangements best suited them without your input.

As your mother is not too mentally impaired to be able to make her will, she should do that as soon as possible. You should find a well qualified, experienced and reputable attorney to assist her, preferably one who will also advise her on sensible planning for the rest of her life as well.

If you then want the will and any other instructions she wishes to make to go smoothly and be uncontested, you may have NO input into the discussions. If you offer opinions or make any kind of case for yourself, your siblings will be able with some justification to claim that you exerted undue influence on your mother and you will have a potential legal sh*tstorm on your hands if they choose to pursue it.

Your post and its headline speak volumes as to your feelings, with which I can sympathise. My mother's will divided her estate equally between her four children, minus small bequests to grandchildren and charities; whereas her caregiving in the years before her death was anything but equally shared and left me broke, alone and somewhat traumatised. It's not fair! Poor me! But a will is not a list of lifetime achievement awards, it is the free disposition of her estate by the testator; and the sooner you reconcile yourself to that the sooner you will be able to put it behind you and make the best plans for your own future that you can.

Mind you... what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. Your mother should not, either, feel under any obligation to keep the shares equal if that doesn't seem right to her. It's a question of making sure that she is advised and supported to, as Garden Artist puts it so succinctly, do as she pleases.
Helpful Answer (6)
Report

Hmm
After my aunt passed and my uncle saw how much one daughter did for him in his final years, he wanted to change their estate plan to leave the house to the caregiver daughter
Problem was that the trust had been set up by both aunt and uncle and he couldn't change it on his own
Both daughters inherited equally according to the original trust

Although it was pre-dementia, the lawyer that drew up mom's documents would not even let me make the appointment for her as to be sure she was acting of her own free will
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This is a trick question and requires a legal answer, concerning those who would expect to inherit and challenge the will. imo.
Helpful Answer (1)
Report

This question has been closed for answers. Ask a New Question.
Related
Questions